Today, the NAACP released the following statement in response to Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signing the bill to repeal the death penalty. NAACP National President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous and NAACP Maryland State Conference President Gerald Stansbury joined O'Malley at the signing.
Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO, NAACP: "Today Maryland becomes the first state south of the Mason Dixon line to repeal the death penalty," stated Benjamin Todd Jealous. "This is a great day for Maryland and a great day for justice. Maryland is now the sixth state in six years to repeal the death penalty. We are confident we will abolish capital punishment in its entirety throughout the United States within our lifetimes."
Gerald Stansbury, President, Maryland NAACP State Conference: "We are on the right side of history on this issue. Ending the death penalty will benefit all people on this state," stated Gerald Stansbury. "Though our justice system is still imperfect, this is a major step toward correcting it. Thank you to all the partners in our coalition. This kind of broad coalition should be emulated in repeal efforts across the United States."
The NAACP and a coalition of death penalty repeal advocates worked closely with Maryland leaders to secure the bill's passage.